You’ve probably heard over and over again how Italy is a country of regions, perhaps more so than many other countries you’ll visit. As a unified country, Italy is younger than the United States – the unification of the city-states and independent kingdoms only occurred in 1861 – and even today it sometimes seems like it’s a country held together by sheer force of will rather than any sense of Italian national identity.
It’s not surprising, then, that when many tourists visit Italy they think of the country in region-sized pieces. Sure, most have specific cities in mind, but if you get beyond the city-to-city itineraries you often find people planning trips in terms of regions. People come to visit Tuscany, or Umbria, or Calabria – we’re more familiar with regional names in Italy than we are in many other countries.
While we may know the names, however, we may not know much about these regions.
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There are 20 regions in Italy, plus two city-states that remain independent to this day. Italy’s regions are listed below (under the map), each with a link to more detailed information to help you plan your trip. If you have trouble finding what you’re looking for, please let me know.
The Regions of Italy
- Aosta Valley
- Friuli-Venezia Giulia
- Le Marche
- Trentino-Alto Adige
Independent City-States in Italy
graphic by Stefan Ertmann